Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
By now, you’ve probably seen all three lying scumbag ads from Scott Brown tripling down on the Cherokee heritage thing. In it, he outright lies, since there is evidence that Warren did NOT get ahead because of her listing herself in a lawyer’s directory as having Native blood, and there no evidence whatsoever that she did get ahead. Yet the ads say over and over “she got ahead” because of it. (The ONLY argument you can make is that Harvard, for a time, “got ahead” by listing her a female minority briefly. However, Warren was hired by then, and she had nothing to do with that. To accuse her of “lying to get ahead” is to A) assume she is lying about her heritage that was passed down by her parents, and B) that everyone and everything that has come out about how she never used this to get her jobs is lying. Occam’s Razor, people.)
You might have also seen the latest ad where Brown attacks her work on the asbestos case he has been bringing up over and over at debates. He selectively pulled out quotes from the Globe which were seriously out of context, and distorted the truth to the point of lying again.
This is the result of having a Karl Rove acolyte running your campaign. Everyone remembers the swiftboating of John Kerry - lying about his war record, taking what is a big strength of Kerry’s and making it an albatross around his neck. It became so synonymous with Karl Rove tactic it became its own verb.
I think the voters of Massachusetts deserve way better than Karl Rovian, swiftboating lying scummy campaigns. And so do the people affected by the asbestos lawsuit against Travelers…not a one of the victims, workers, or any other person on the victim’s side of that lawsuit from Travelers has said anything but positive things on Warren’s role in the case, preserving future victims’ rights to sue and get compensated. The “disastrous results” Brown quotes in his ad are from long after Warren left the case, in a decision that Warren utterly disagrees with (vacating the payments).
So also say the Asbestos Workers Local 6. If Warren indeed was on the side of wrong on the asbestos case, these are the people you would think would be applauding Brown for his attacks and highlighting of this issue. Instead, they are calling on Brown to pull his ad immediately for being a lie. Via BMG, their open letter (bold mine):
Dear Senator Brown:
At your first debate with Elizabeth Warren, you accused her of siding with Travelers Insurance Company to deny people with asbestos poisoning their benefits and added, “I hope all the Asbestos Union Workers are watching right now.”
As the Business Manager of Asbestos Workers Local 6 – which represents 450 asbestos workers in Massachusetts – I can attest that many of us were watching and were shocked and upset by your mischaracterizations and politicization of this serious issue. We were also disappointed to see your totally unsupported and unsupportable subsequent allegation that asbestos victims “have died as a result of her efforts,” as well as to see you repeating these false attacks in your second debate and in a new false, misleading, and offensive television attack advertisement.
The truth is that Elizabeth Warren represented Travelers at a time when the company was on the same side as a vast majority of asbestos victims. Elizabeth fought for a principle that most asbestos victims agree with strongly: that settlement trusts are an important part of the law and should be continued to be used. To say otherwise is either ignorant of the facts or a cynical lie designed to trick people to vote for you.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. There is no cure for mesothelioma and the average life expectancy from diagnosis is generally from six to eighteen months. In our union, many of us have watched family members and or friends suffer and die painful deaths from this horrible disease.
We think it is inappropriate of you to use misleading personal attacks to distract people from your record against working families in Massachusetts, and we think it is offensive for you to campaign on the backs of suffering mesothelioma victims to win votes.
We would like to request a meeting to discuss this issue with you further as soon as possible and certainly before the next debate on Oct. 10, and before you make more false attacks. We are indeed watching your comments on this and other issues and have a keen interest in them.
Francis C. Boudrow
International Association of Heat & Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers Local #6
303 Freeport Street
Dorchester, MA 02122
Anyone wanna take the bet that Brown will meet with them or pull his ads? Didn’t think so.
As we head into the November 6th election, let’s consider a popular initiative among my conservative friends: Show ID To Vote Sure, you may scoff this effort, as I seldom do. But, as of this morning, I have some new questions along these lines:
- Do candidates have to show ID to put their name on a ballot?
- What if a candidate owned a few houses and was registered to vote in Lowell, but had a driver’s license and vehicle registrations in another MA town?
- What actually constitutes the legal definition of “residency?” Can you have a “summer home” that you stay in 3-6 months/year? From what I understand about car insurance, they like to bill you based on where you “garage” your vehicle.
Growing up, my father was a Teamster and my mother worked as a bookeeper, so we had some money and had a summer place up in Sandwich, NH. It never donned on me that you could potentially finagle such a set-up to spread yourself thin in “all the right places.” Though, I have never had a Cayman Island’s account (very legal, btw), I did enjoy a period of time when I was part of the “priviledged class.” When I was in the Army, I didn’t have to renew my driver’s license for 7 years or so. I was stationed in TN, living in KY and driving a vehicle with a MA plate and had a MA license to operate.
Of course, at the time, I was in the U.S. Infantry. I was not elected to City Council, School Committee or Greater Lowell High School School Committee.
I couldn’t get the iPad to cough up the embed code for the videos I took via Qik, so here they are after the fact.
These guys were at it like the entire time. Bet they were hoarse by the end of the night:
The rest of the videos were later on, after I had gone into the media room and got credentialed, settled, fed and watered, and then got bored and decided things were probably more hoppin’ outside.
Debate as spectacle…a jazz group performs, this is near the garage and by a lot of the union sign holders:
I got Kate Donoghue - THE Kate - to give me a wave on her way in.
Just one part of Father Morressey Blvd outside the Tsongas Arena. Complete with silly commentary.
Raise your hand, who didn’t see (or at least start watching, perhaps you ran screaming) the Warren-Brown debate? I know you weren’t bothering with the Red Sox, so don’t lie.
I find myself in total agreement with Outraged Liberal, who says, “It was nasty and brutish and when the smoke cleared there was one clear loser in last night’s US Senate debate: moderator David Gregory.” I felt, in a manner of speaking, betrayed. After all, I took some time off in the afternoon and spent the rest of the day down at the Tsgonas as a blogger, doing the blogger thing as best I could with an iPad and a smartphone (laptop is on the fritz). To have spent so much time prepping for this debacle of a debate feels wasted.
What’s more, this was a huge production on the part of UML and the Tsongas Arena. A lot of money was spent last night. The media descended in a mass hoard on the city, the arena was full, and the task of logistics, printing signage, traffic direction, and the police presence, was just enormous. This truly was debate-as-spectacle at its finest. What we got in the final analysis fell so far short of all the prep and hype.
What a missed opportunity, as Dick Howe said last night on Twitter. If I find out Marty Meehan had any clout in picking the DC Villager to moderate this debate I shall be very put out. Being in the crowd, I got a sense that a lot of people there felt the same way. It’s not like an hour debate is long to begin with. And to have nearly half of it being used for the way-overplayed (and, I think, satisfactorily answered ten times over) Cherokee and asbestos-Traveler thing, as well as horse race questions that have no bearing on policy or how each of the candidates would conduct their tenure on the Senate floor, was worse than a wasted opportunity - it was nothing short of a travesty of democracy and a showcase of everything wrong with our media culture today.
The twitterverse that I hang out in pretty much agreed - the showstoppers for the most part were not either candidate. It was how horrid David Gregory was, how precious few minutes he spent on substantive issues like Afghanistan, jobs and the economy, the environment (hint: none) or any other issue of substance. And to leave us with a stupid baseball question (I could see Gregory crowing inside with “see? I know local stuff that’s local!”) when we had already lost so much time on inanities was just the last straw.
One of our local radio guys, or even, hell, Jon Keller! would have done a far superior job. As smug as Keller is in his commentary, he stayed out of the candidate’s way in the first debate, and yet controlled the flow of it pretty well. Meehan made huge mistakes marrying the Herald for their political arm; I am hoping that a divorce is imminent. The polls appear flawed (I don’t say that because they went the opposite way of the rest of the ones which I liked - I say that because there are serious questions about their undersampling of Dems and oversampling of Republicans in a presidential year with Obama topping the ticket), the debate was trash, and I think UML’s reputation has been tarnished by mating with the Herald. The only thing you can say about this event is that, short of being content-free, it was well-run, the staff managed the influx of reporters and radio and news trucks and visitors outstandingly well, and the audience appeared to be quite balanced in terms of its cheers and jeers (Brown got applause and so did Warren). The event ran smoothly and was a credit to the University and the city. Too bad we can’t say the same thing about the debate itself.
I will, however, leave you with this:
Edit: If you want a good post on substance, a good place to start is this analysis by Mass Marrier.
Instead on one major question after another, he played and overplayed his alleged impartial card (a.k.a. the bipartisan ploy). He couldn’t and wouldn’t tell us what we’d get by electing him to a full term. He’d pore over each bill’s contents, he’d listen to all arguments and only then decide what he believed and would do. While he refuses to call himself a Republican in person or in campaign material, that sounded dreadfully like the Romney/Ryan shtick. They say that their economic plan is too complex to explain, so we need to elect them and let Congress work out the details. Walrus wings, I say!
You can’t say it much better than this editorial in the Globe:
But none of that matters to Brown, who continues to assert, without evidence, that Warren claimed minority status falsely and for career gain. Their first debate had barely begun when the senator did an uncannily lifelike impression of ignorance: “Professor Warren claimed that she was a Native American, a person of color,” Brown said. “And, as you can see,” he continued, waving a hand in her direction, “she’s not.”
Yeah, because in 2012 it’s totally cool to point at somebody and say he or she can’t be a minority because they don’t look like one. (Close observers will see a clue here as to why Brown feels no need to fire staff members for their boorish behavior).
If I’d grown up with those stories, I’d believe I had Native American heritage, too — just as my stories convince my fair child that he has Lebanese heritage. Why on earth would he think otherwise?
These editorials are coming thick and furious these days, even from not-often-Democratic-friendly columnists. Seriously, what can Brown be thinking??
Given the new ad, the doubling down on political tomahawking, expect more of the same at tonight’s debate. I fully anticipate he will: rererereattack her for “checking boxes,” attack her law work for Travelers despite the fact that victims of asbestos say she did GOOD work there, and I am betting good money on him bringing up the nonissue of the law license thing (which is just totally ridiculous, and just another conclusion in search of a premise, raised more for the optics of making Warren look shady than for any real reason of concern over her law work). Because, you see, it’s hard for us average voters to wade through the complex legal structures of state vs. federal courts, active and inactive bar memberships, what constitutes an “office” under obscure statutes, etc. Despite the many “gotcha” posts by the original conservative law blogger in question (I am not linking to him, you can find him on your own if you really want), it really is a matter of people doing some backseat lawyering without all the facts in their hands…aka rampant speculation. If you really want to dive in, this is a good place to start. And here is a crazy detailed outline as well. Warning: unless you love law stuff your eyes will start to glaze pretty quick.
Anyway, that leaves us with tonight’s debate. I believe Jack is attending, as am I, as media, so we will live-blog the affair starting, YES, this afternoon. Stay tuned!!
Via Marie Sweeney on facebook, a fascinating nod to the Mill City by the Boston Globe’s Glen Johnson. Calling it “ground zero” in the Senate race, Johnson named the dueling endorsements of both Elizabeth Warren (Mayor Murphy, Arthur Ramalho) and Brown (Rita Mercier) and the failed endorsement of Micky Ward, who in a day rescinded his support of Brown after he found out his record on unions and gay rights.
I was cracking up at Johnson’s characterization of Mercier: “a pugnacious and ticket-topping politician.” Pugnacious: “inclined to quarrel or fight readily; quarrelsome; belligerent; combative.” Indeed!
It is as if the US Senate race will be decided by who is more popular at the Owl Diner, or who can tell the best story about Tarsy Poulios’s time on the City Council.
Awesome. All politics are local.
And it is true that while generally, Lowell has gone blue in past races (presidential and gubernatorial) it flipped during the special election to replace Ted Kennedy. Though I would argue the weather and timing and lack of a Democratic campaign had a lot to do with that.
(NECN also had a segment about Lowell and the Senate race on Sept 14th, though they did not, surprisingly, include any interviews with Mayor Murphy).
So if you are sitting there thinking, what can I do for Elizabeth Warren, really, well…show up for a phone bank or canvass. I went yesterday morning, where Mayor Murphy stopped by to kick off the day’s canvassing. The campaign is us - you and me. Yesterday I walked the streets in Ward 1 combing for more Warren voters. I talked to the campaign staff at HQ and they are enthusiastic and optimistic, but without volunteers they can’t do their job. Yes there’s lots of people showing up…so why aren’t YOU?
Tell you what. There’s about six weeks left to the campaign. Commit to spending a few hours some weeknight or weekend between now and then. It’s fun and you’ll meet new people, and we can beat Scott Brown by double digits in Lowell if we get enough voter IDs!
The Democratic coordinated campaign HQ is at 73 E. Merrimack St. Lowell, and the canvassing schedule on weekends generally goes: first wave at 10am, and another at 2pm. Someone is at the office from 9am to 9pm daily, though, so you can just show up and let them put you to work! There’s also phone banking, data entry, and other jobs to do, so if you can’t knock doors for any reason, don’t let that stop you. Crucially, if you can take Election Day off to help, or help the weekend or even the week before, that’s very important.
Looking forward to running into more LiL’ers at the Dem HQ!
Update: Just got word the official Lowell office email is email@example.com. Contact them if you want to schedule your time at HQ!
Update II: Even better, I am told, is to go here, and sign up for a specific shift you want to do as they are listed on the official website. You will be able to hook into the campaign directly. If you are new to volunteering, they’ll contact you. I’ve already put in the search terms for you so you should see only Lowell events at that zip.
Warren surges in four separate polls this week; suddenly the tables have turned in a race that everyone said was Brown’s to lose. This isn’t just a simple convention bounce; we’re two weeks past…and general analysis of the internals of the polls are showing that the surge is Democrats “coming home” to Warren. A good part of that, I’m sure, is her performance at the convention. But there is a much more prosaic, basic, and boring explanation as well.
David Bernstein takes a look at campaign expenditures (bold mine).
Brown’s spending is all message, no organization. Of the $3.8 million he spent, $2.8 million went straight to “placed media” — ad buys. Another $360,000 went to direct mail. That only leaves about $600,000 for everything else.
By contrast, Warren spent $2.3 million on ad buys and a whopping $1.1 million on direct mail — which still leaves about $1.5 million on the rest.
A big chunk of that, roughly a quarter-million dollars, went to Warren’s Internet consultants.
But the big difference is payroll. The Warren campaign has a stunning 77 people on the payroll, compared to 20 on the slim Brown campaign.
Democrats in the state are going back to a very old fashioned campaigning idea. Ever since the rise of Deval Patrick, and John Walsh, there has been a resurgence of door-knocking, neighbor to neighbor, on-the-ground retail politics. Of course, that sort of thing has been happening all along, as many longtime stalwart Democratic apparatchiks could tell you, but it’s the intensity and the energy that has changed. (Technology like databases and internet and Google maps haven’t hurt, either.)
Having done some canvassing and phone banking in the last six years, I can honestly tell you that even in the late hours of the 2006 Patrick campaign, I have never seen the level of participation from volunteers as I have in the last several months of the Warren campaign. Back in the spring, there were so many volunteers showing up, that they got frustrated that the campaign wasn’t moving more quickly or hiring enough organizers to put them to work. Fast forward to September, and those 77 people on the payroll are, well, paying off.
When an enthused and excited Democrat comes to another Democrat’s doorstep and talks about Elizabeth Warren and what she stands for, you can be sure that that Democrat will reconsider any ticket-splitting they might have done in November. Democratic-leaning unenrolleds will, too. The first half of voter ID is all about figuring out who your supporters are, but it also has a side effect of convincing some voters who are undecided or thinking of voting for the opponent, due to the one-on-one conversations at front doorsteps, the personal notes left behind on literature when someone is not home, and the sheer visibility of the campaign. The more people you have out there doing the talking, the more converts you’re likely to make.
The hand-wringing is already beginning on the other side. You’ll see them try to blame “DC Democrats” imposing their will and their support and their money in this race…or the media turning against them…or just being red specks in a blue sea. They don’t see it coming, because they just. Don’t. Get it.
The thing about retail politics, though, is that you have to have a message that resonates with people where they live. In the marketplace of ideas, I don’t think you could sell people on tea-party extremism, or sell a candidate who will double down on the Blunt amendment and vote against jobs bills and water down Wall St reform but who claims to be a moderate independent.
You also need bodies. Lots and lots of bodies. Hiring people on payroll is a huge head start, but then you need a horde of volunteers under them willing to give up a Saturday afternoon or a Thursday night and walk a neighborhood. You can’t drum up enthusiasm unless you have a great candidate.
It’s not magic. It’s hard work and steady, unremarkable, persistent grunt work. Work that is ongoing and still needs doing right up until the end. The Warren campaign, by dint of where they spend their time, money, and energy, obviously gets that. It’s why they will be successful once the votes are cast in November.
(And in case you don’t get the hint, Warren peeps, please please please offer an afternoon or two yourselves if you haven’t already. Or even if you have!)
For those of you who have done campaign work before, you probably have at least heard of “Relentless” Kate Donoghue, Democratic activist extraordinaire, who will come to your house and drag you out of bed for a canvass if she has to. (At least, everything just short of that!)
She came to Lowell just a few weeks ago and pulled a mess of people out into the streets and canvassing for Elizabeth Warren, and is doing so again this weekend. She does an excellent job of making a canvass an “event” - tying the work with family-friendly activity…in Lowell, this means a canal tour in the morning or a visit to the historic mills before hitting the doors.
Well a few of us are headed back to Lowell on Saturday [9/15]. We’re meeting at 10:45 AM at the Visitor’s Center at 246 Market Street. This is the time people need to be there if you want to go on the boat ride. This time we’ll deploy canvassers at 10:45 as well. The rest of the day is flexible. The train from North Station arrives at 10:43 AM. Please let me know if you will be arriving by train.
On Saturday, if you’ve done the boat ride, we’re suggesting a tour of the Boott Cotton Mills Museum. According the website, “It includes the weave room plus interactive exhibits and video programs about the Industrial Revolution, labor, and the rise, fall, and rebirth of Lowell.” At 11 AM there is a ranger led tour that is free with the $6 admission.
10:45 AM Meet at Visitor’s Center. Choose one:
- Boat Ride $8
- Boott Cotton Mills Museum and Tour
12:30 Second wave of canvassers head out, after sightseeing.
Following canvassing, pick a restaurant and relax.
So come to see the sights and then canvass or let family sight see while you volunteer, but please join us. RSVP to KateDonaghue AT aol DOT com.
We can’t win if we don’t turn out the votes. Canvassing is the best way to talk to voters. I’m going to try to make it to the morning canvass, myself. God help me, at least it’ll save me from Kate.
It’s so poor, that…
No really, at 7:40-ish, Ward 10-1 had 76 voters in the can, and 4-2 had 37. I doubt there was a bull rush after we left.
Jack, wanna run those numbers as percentages? Did we even hit 5%??
Oh well, as I said to the Mr., it means our votes counted more!
It’s highly likely you may not be aware, but today is primary voting day! I feel totally remiss in posting about it on time to be useful. But my cave is so comfortable…well, anywho, better late than never! If you are going out to vote, and you should, even if it’s just to tick off your first vote for Elizabeth Warren as a point of great pride, it’s worth it. (Bonus - you can make a tick next to Dick Howe’s name too!) Plus, you’ll be considered a Super Dem in future campaign lists! It’s the closest thing you’ll get to being a superhero!
For us Lowell Dems, the only contested race is the Governor’s Council, an open seat that is being vacated by Mary-Ellen Manning. I’ve never had much of a great impression of her (sorry, insidery Dems), and this being an open seat, it’s an opportunity for a change. Now, what is Governor’s Council, you ask? Here’s a good explanation from Progressive Dems of Mass. The big deal about it is that they confirm judges appointed by the Governor. So, kinda important, but not very well understood.
The four people running in the Fifth District are:
DONALD BUMILLER - 35 King George Dr., Boxford
EILEEN R. DUFF - 8 Barberry Heights Rd., Gloucester
DAVID W. EPPLEY - 69 Boston St., Salem
GEORGE T. O’BRINE - 5 Locust St., Salem
George O’Brine seems to be largely a “vanity candidate” so write him out completely. But of the remaining, who to pick?
This is the best comment I could find on the Fifth on Blue Mass Group, for starters.
I also have lit from all three candidates. Between the online research and the lit, I am ruling out Bumiller. He seems like the wrong sort. He prominently puts in all caps at the top of his lit NO PAROLE FOR SEX OFFENDERS, which I think should a) be up to a judge, not him, and b) screams “I’m a conservative-ish hawkish hot-button-pusher.” I hate that crap. He doesn’t seem to impress the above BMG commenter either.
Then there’s Eileen Duff. She seems cool, I’ve met her briefly, but…boy, does she have all the wrong people endorsing her. In particular, Rep. Golden and Rita Mercier. If the GOB types are endorsing her (and to be fair, Vesna Nuon does as well, and I don’t consider him GOB), I have to pause and wonder…not that I can’t support someone supported by GOBs, but it says something about her, I think. So, I’m just not convinced, on account of insideriness. Plus, on her lit, the only thing on there is endorsements…no biographical info, no information on how she’d do her job…also seems insidery to me. Put that together with the comment at BMG:
“Eileen Duff seems like a wonderful person and I have nothing but respect for her chosen profession as a Hospice worker. That being said, her lack of experience and ties to Mary Ellen Manning kept me from supporting her.”
Well, that doesn’t sound good but it certainly lines up with my impression. Given a choice, I’d prefer not to vote for an insider’s insider.
That leaves David Eppley. His lit has biographical info, and tells me he lives with his husband and two dogs in Salem, right off. It’s not that I automatically vote for a GLBT candidate (or a minority, or female) but…I like that. AND he has two dogs. OK, that’s cool.
From the comment at BMG, I can see he’s been door knocking (grassroots) and he seems more independent than the other two major candidates. Less insidery. He appears (and again, this is from the pathetic amount of data I can gleam from the internet on this race) rather more progressive. On his website, my friend and chair of the Andover DTC, Pat Commanne, whom I know to be a good progressive, endorses him.
So to recap - seems the most progressive, the least insidery, and his endorsements don’t give me a hair-rising-on-neck feeling…I’m voting for David Eppley. I wish I had had a chance to really get to know this race better, but I feel confident in my vote for him.
So - are you voting today and have you made up your mind on Gov’s Council?
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